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Houston Astros seen as favorite to land Zack Wheeler

Zack Wheeler

The Houston Astros are seen as the favorites to land New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler by the Wednesday trade deadline, with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reporting that the Astros are “working hand” to acquire him and Andy Martino of SNY reporting that a rival executive “fully expects” Houston to end up with the right-hander.

Wheeler has a rather long list of potential suitors that also includes the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Oakland Athletics, but, obviously, the Astros are viewed as the frontrunners.

Through 20 starts thus far this season, Wheeler has gone 7-6 with a 4.71 ERA, allowing 124 hits while striking out 137 batters over 124.1 innings of work.

The 29-year-old has been plagued by arm trouble for much of his career, and since making his big-league debut with the Mets in 2013, he has never thrown 200 innings in a single season and also missed two whole seasons in 2015 and 2016.

Wheeler was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick of the 2009 MLB Draft, but he never actually played for the Giants’ major-league club before being traded to the Mets in a deal that sent Carlos Beltran to San Francisco in July 2011.

The Smyrna, Ga. native would go on to make his major-league debut two years later, making 17 starts and going 7-5 with a 3.42 ERA while surrendering 90 hits and fanning 84 hitters across 100 frames of action.

Wheeler then went 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA through 32 starts the following year, but since then, Wheeler has struggled to stay on the mound due to rather persistent injury issues.

He owns a lifetime 3.89 ERA over 115 starts.